August 14, 2017 – On Friday, August 4, 2017 district staff met with students who attended Camp KEEP, Montana de Oro and their parents to wrap up the 2017 Region 21 Migrant Education Summer Programming. In addition to BCSD Summer School, Migrant students took advantage of filling over 700 seats in multiple programs throughout the summer.
This summer, Bakersfield City School District students and staff could be found heading out on adventures to residential math, leadership, STEM and outdoor education camps at CSU Bakersfield, Fresno State University, Cal Poly Pomona, CSU Santa Barbara, Camp KEEP Montana de Oro as well as learning about leadership in Washington, D.C. as well as global issues and the human condition at the United Nations in New York City.
Students also experienced several adventures locally with our guest teaching staff from Mexico as part of the Binational Teacher Exchange Program and were invited to participate in national art and essay contests, experience what it is like to be part of a robotics design team, don their crime scene investigation hats, explore opportunities for academic success through soccer as part of our La Liga Academy, study music as part of a performing mariachi group and participate in presentations of learning as part of a vocabulary development unit (for PK-8 grades) studying civic responsibility utilizing The Preamble of the United States as their content. All students participated in extended learning via hands-on visits to CALM ZOO, Lori Brock Museum, Buena Vista Museum, and The Bakersfield Art Museum.
In addition to the rich educational opportunities, families came together and learned about the importance of health and wellness to the educational success of their students at the Region 21 Migrant Health Conference, came together to share best practices with community agencies at the Migrant Regional Conference, and received important dental care via the Dental Academy provided by the USC School of Dentistry.
When asked by Migrant Parent Mentor, Maria Teresa Herrera about the participation of her children in Migrant Education Programs, Our Lady of Guadalupe parent, Raquel Cruz replied, “The Migrant Program is incredible. I never imagined my kids would be given these opportunities. They are dreaming, achieving dreams and are opening their eyes to a new reality – like going to university.”
Parent Maria Teresa Herrera describes said, “Parents learn not only how to better understand their rights, but more importantly, their roles in making informed decisions on behalf of their children. This Summer, many parents benefited from the information shared.”
Janie Flores, Director of Migrant Education, Region 21 attributes the success of the programs to the Migrant students who she says inspire staff, families, and community volunteers to come together on their behalf. “These students are empowered by belonging. We give them a place to belong, a place to discover their power to influence, and encourage them to return to their school sites and influence others in also feeling empowered to succeed for themselves and others. We’re excited to continue the work on behalf of Migrant families in 2017-18.”